Dark Chocolate Bark is a simple three-ingredient recipe that's perfect for the holidays. Serve as part of your holiday cookie spread or give it away as an edible gift, either way, it's easy and delicious!
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There are things I do and do not have patience for, and complicated baking is a firm nope.
I do not make macarons. I do not decorate cakes. But what I DO do is melt chocolate like a dang boss.
Let me let you in on a little secret: people are intimidated by melting chocolate, so by doing it - which is actually super simple - you can fancy things up and make things that are really easy seem really impressive.
For example, I love to whip up a batch of my favourite Brown Sugar Shortbread and then dip half of the cookies in melted chocolate, and suddenly you've taken a simple three-ingredient cookie recipe and elevated it into something you could eat while drinking tea with your pinkie fingers out.
But you can go even more basic than that! You can melt chocolate and pour it onto a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle stuff on top and call it chocolate bark. Did you know that stores actually charge money for this stuff? What a racket!
Seriously, with a grand total of 2-4 ingredients you can make your own Dark Chocolate Bark. You get to put the stuff YOU want on top. Give it away as a fancy edible gift (Related: 14 Awesome Edible Gifts) or hide it in the back of your freezer and only take it out when everyone else is sleeping. This is a judgement free zone.
What do I need to make dark chocolate bark?
You really only need two ingredients: dark chocolate, and something to sprinkle on top of it. Here's what I'm going with:
- Dark chocolate --> File this under no duh. I used a blend of 70% and 55% for chocolate bark that's dark but not toooooo dark.
- Pistachios --> I found roasted, salted pistachios that were already shelled. Huzzuh!
- Goji berries --> A little something sweet to contrast the salty.
- Salt --> I love the salty and sweet combo, so I finished my bark with a sprinkle of vanilla salt.
Remember that your dark chocolate bark is only as good as the ingredients you choose, so don't be afraid of going for the good stuff!
Do I need any special equipment for this recipe?
You need a heat-proof bowl for melting the chocolate in. I love this large (8 cup) Pyrex measuring cup because it's microwave proof and perfect for pouring out of.
You'll also need parchment paper (I use this unbleached parchment paper) and a baking sheet.
How do you make dark chocolate bark?
Simple, friends! Chop, melt, pour, and sprinkle.
Step 1: Chop or break your chocolate into pieces and place into a heat-proof bowl.
Step 2: Melt your chocolate. I like to do this in the microwave.
Work in 30 second bursts, giving the chocolate a stir and then letting it rest for 30 seconds before you nuke it again. This will prevent the chocolate from melting too quickly and becoming grainy when it firms up.
If you prefer to melt your chocolate on the stovetop, you'll need to use a double boiler, or set your heat-proof bowl over gently simmering water. Be suuuuuuper careful to not let even a speck of water into your melting chocolate otherwise it could seize up.
Step 3: Pour your melted chocolate onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Step 4: Top with nuts and seeds - I used a blend of pistachios and pumpkin seeds.
Step 5: Top with goji berries - I was going for the contrast of salty and sweet and also a festive colour combination. I also added a sprinkle of vanilla salt here.
Step 6: Chill. Not you, the chocolate. You can let it firm up at room temperature if you've got time, or place the cookie sheet into your fridge to expedite the process.
I have found that chilling my dark chocolate bark in the freezer tends to yield a grainier bark, but that hasn't stopped me from doing it if I'm in a rush.
Once your bark is completely firm, break it into pieces, pack it up into boxes or bags, and bask in the glory of your Martha Stewart-esque achievement that was actually so, so easy.
Do I have to temper the chocolate?
You certainly can if you want to. Tempering the chocolate will ensure that the bark has a smooth appearance with a bit of a sheen and crisp snap. Tempered bark will also store well for a while without becoming dull and grainy-looking.
If you *do* want to get into it, I'll refer you to this tutorial on how to temper chocolate from Serious Eats.
To be honest, I don't always temper my chocolate when I'm making bark. As long as it's being consumed quickly I don't really think it matters. If you're going to give your bark away as gifts, you may want to go the extra mile.
Can I make vegan chocolate bark?
Certainly. If you start with vegan chocolate you've got vegan chocolate bark. Magic!
What are some other topping ideas?
If pistachios and goji berries doesn't float your boat, you've got about a zillion other options. Here's just a tiny sampling:
- Any chopped nuts
- Crushed up candy canes
- Cocoa nibs
- Chopped up saltines or pretzels
- Any dried fruit
- Your favourite cereal
- Freeze dried berries
- Crystallized ginger
- Candied citrus peel
How long will dark chocolate bark last?
It really depends on what you top it with and how perishable those ingredients are. At room temperature your bark will be good for at least a week, but you can keep it in the freezer for longer storage.
Either way, be sure to keep it in an airtight container. I store my frozen bark in these silicon freezer bags.
Other easy recipes you might enjoy:
Dark Chocolate Bark
- 16 oz dark chocolate I use 55-70%
- ¼ cup goji berries
- ½ cup shelled pistachios
- ½ teaspoon vanilla salt
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave-proof bowl.
- Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring the chocolate and letting it rest between each interval. This allows the chocolate to melt slowly and not overheat.
- Pour the melted chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Scatter with pistachios and goji berries.
- Allow the chocolate bark to rest until firm.
- Break into pieces and enjoy!
- Nutrition values are an estimate only